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Schumacher Rules Out Podium Finish

Michael Schumacher believes fighting for the podium at Monza will be almost impossible judging by the pace of the cars in front

Ferrari's seven-times World Champion Schumacher qualified sixth.

Schumacher will be out of title contention mathematically for the first time since 1999 if he fails to score more points than Alonso on Sunday.

He is 40 adrift at present.

The Ferrari driver was feeling optimistic of fighting for the points tomorrow, but believes reaching the podium is out of the question.

"Considering I had to make my run early in the session, which is definitely a disadvantage, I am quite happy with my laptime, which owes a lot to the work we did here last week," Schumacher said.

"Although we should not really use our performance in Turkey as a reference point, this is an improvement.

"We have worked well and, if you leave out one team, who are just too dominant, we are in the frame. Tomorrow, our realistic target is to fight for points. Although it would be wonderful to end up on the podium in front of all our home fans, I feel that is a bit too optimistic."

Teammate Rubens Barrichello was also satisfied with his effort after posting the eighth quickest time in his final qualifying session for Ferrari at Monza.

"I think that today's performance shows that we have done a good job of improving the car since yesterday," said Barrichello. "But I drove a good lap which started very well, until I had a bit too much graining on the front tyres, which caused the car to understeer and I lost time in the two Lesmo corners.

"Considering the problems we have encountered so far, I think I can be relatively pleased with today's result and I am happy with my last good qualifying lap for Ferrari at Monza."

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